Monday, November 30, 2009

Clatite cu Ciuperci; Salata de Castraveti

[[Or: Crepes with Mushrooms and Cucumber Salad. Namely Smoky Shiitakes from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz; crepes from the Vegan Yum Yum Blog; and Chilled Cucumber Salad from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson.]]

I grew up eating crepes; called clatite in Romania, they were one of the most prevalent and beloved foodstuffs of my childhood, rivaled only by gris cu gem (a sort of fine-milled porridge with fruit jam, lovingly decorated by my grandmother with whatever picture or word I requested -- usually the name of a favorite character, say, Shenzi).

Now, I know my crepes. My grandmother knows her crepes. My entire family knows their crepes. We've eaten them with jam or chocolate sauce or mushrooms our entire lives. My grandmother practically raised us on the stuff. Devouring them one after another, rolled up and dripping with sweet goodness is one of my fondest childhood memories.

So you bet I was delighted to make them myself for the first time—and even more delighted to discover they're just as delicious cruelty-free. I made them twice for my family (with my grandmother's clatite-master pouring skills to help) and they loved them. The Smoky Shiitakes are the perfect filling. Liquid Smoke. It's like liquid gold, but better. I don't think I'll ever forget the moment I first tasted these shiitake. I went weak in the knees. Everyone I've since fed them to has had the same reaction. I can't ever seem to make enough, either. Spare yourself the trouble and quadruple the recipe. Even if you're alone. Yarly.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nut Cutlets; Cranberry Chutney; Sesame Spinach

Quick but elegant dinner for four omnivore guests; read all about it right here. It was a smashing success, and the spinach is positively to die for-- or, well, marry. Read about it, go on.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

French Onion Pie with Spinach, Fuji Apple and Dates Salad

I couldn't have hoped for a more elegant lunch to serve four omnivore guests than the French Onion Pie from Coleen Patrick-Goudreau's book The Vegan Table.

Served with the equally elegant Spinach Salad with Fuji Apple and [Dates] (originally figs) from Robin Robertson's book 1,000 Vegan Recipes. (Read about the beautiful salad in greater detail here.)

The pie was creamy, flavorful, and in every regard stunning. In a word, impressive. I daresay my guests were speechless.

Agave Baklava

Agave Baklava
from Robin Robertson's 1,000 Vegan Recipes. Read all about it here. Smashing success, this. The book is worth it for this recipe alone.

cookery ahoy!

All right. I cook like a maniac now. And bake like an even bigger maniac. I still travel and all, though. So I'm going to start presenting dishes here. I'm also addicted to buying cookbooks; I've got 20+ and counting, new ones, I mean, never mind the older ones I had around.

I'm also obsessive. I suffer from what's known as Gotta-Catch-'Em-All Syndrome. It involves needing to catch them all. In this case, cook/bake them all. So I'll be working through my cookbooks; all of them; every recipe; eventually. Right now I'm involved in...

COOKING FROM 1,000 VEGAN RECIPES (a book by Robin Robertson) with five other friends. So I'm focusing on that book.

But anyway there are others; plenty of dessert ones, too... I can't refuse a dessert book when I see it. In fact, I've been known to make purchasing decisions on general cookbooks on the basis of one tempting dessert recipe alone. Hey, we all have our standards. Mine are high and sweet. And high on sweets.

So expect to see a photo and a tiny blurb every now and again. And in between, reports on this restaurant or that from that country or the other.